While, at first glance, the ACT government's announcement it faces a blowout in the budget deficit in a crucial election year seems grave, that is not necessarily so.
This, after all, is an administration nowhere near as wedded to the principle of "surplus or bust" as its federal counterpart.
Thursday's announcement by Andrew Barr needs to measured against the fact Scott Morrison's long promised budget surplus is also under threat from many of the factors besetting the ACT.
While it is now probable the ACT's projected return to surplus in 2021-2022 will be so slim as to be meaningless, if it occurs at all, the truth is it was always a target; not an obsession.
The ACT Liberals, who spent much of Wednesday and Thursday recycling rhetoric we hear so much of from Morrison and Frydenberg, would do well to remember they are dealing with a sophisticated and well-educated electorate.
Canberra voters can walk and chew gum at the same time. They do get that if you are overseeing the rapid growth of a thriving city state you need to rack up short term debt to fund future infrastructure. You can't wait until the extra people, and revenue, arrives before starting work on schools, roads, hospitals and other services.
While we can all argue over what the money should be spent on, and whether or not light rail, for example, is a worthy investment, it doesn't alter the fact the general principle is sound.
ACT voters can walk and chew gum at the same time.
The major difference between an incumbent government and the opposition is that while the latter can talk about the way it would like things to be, the former has to deal with the prevailing realities.
Some of those realities, as Mr Barr went to some lengths to point out, are undeniably positive and indicate the ACT government will have no problem managing its rising debt in the longer term.
These include stable population growth, increasing employment and strong demand for locally produced goods and services. We remain, as he said on Thursday "one of Australia's strongest economic performers".
Unfortunately, in the more immediate future, we are being buffeted by the same headwinds that are going to make the first half of 2020 challenging for the whole of Australia.
These include the bushfire and natural disaster recovery and the impact of the coronavirus. Canberra is heavily dependent on its university sector and also on tourism, the two areas that appear likely to be hit hardest in the short term.
The ANU's 4000 Chinese students alone make up one per cent of the population.
There is no denying if a government is forced to run up additional debt now is the right time to do it. Interest rates are the lowest they have ever been and forecast to stay low. There appears to be little reason to suggest the ACT's AAA credit rating is at risk.
That said, it seems highly unlikely the government will commit itself to new projects over and above what is already on the table in the lead up to the election.
Mr Barr will also need to reassure voters the government has a plan to pay down some of the additional debt as conditions improve.
The ACT Liberals need to tell us what projects they would abandon or defer in order to balance the cheque book.
Alistair Coe's claim the government has been reaping "record revenues" needs clarification given Mr Barr says revenue is expected is to be down by $104 million over what was projected in last year's budget.
It would be unfortunate, given our challenges may be exacerbated by further cuts in federal spending on the APS as part of the restructure, if individuals use the election as an excuse to talk down the ACT economy.